The Aspen Flight Academy hosted its annual fundraising event at the Atlantic Aviation FBO hangar on Saturday, Oct. 1. The event showcased Aspen Flight Academy’s (AFA) latest in technology and flight training while enjoying food, live music, airplane displays, plane rides, as well as on-site conversations with industry representatives, and AFA students and instructors.
Founded in 2014, the Aspen Flight Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and flight-training school in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, dedicated to giving high school students the opportunity to become certified pilots. AFA is the first carbon-neutral flight school in the country.
Since 2019, they have partnered with the Aspen School District for the “Every Student Flies” innovative program, which gives every student the opportunity to experience one hour of flight instruction and learn about aviation careers. The AFA’s goal is to be inclusive, and 40 percent of their students are female.
“There has never been a better time to become a professional pilot, whether flying for the airlines or business aviation,” said Mike Pearce, Chairman of the Board of the Aspen Flight Academy. “There is a huge need now and in the future for professional pilots. The industry is responding to workforce needs and the Aspen Flight Academy is helping provide future aviation pilots and leaders.”
The AFA is dedicated to empowering youth and adults to learn about the joys and responsibilities of flying by providing students with the classroom and flight training needed to pilot aircraft.
“Our program keeps growing and we could not be so successful without the support of all of our sponsors and the Aspen community,” added Pearce.
Sponsors of the Aspen Flight Academy include Atlantic Aviation, operators of the Aspen FBO, which provides the fuel complimentary for all Aspen Flight Academy flights, reducing the cost to families for their students to learn to fly. On Saturday, Atlantic Aviation announced a generous new $100,000 sponsorship program, for five Aspen High School students to learn to fly and get their Private Pilot’s Licenses.
Atlantic Aviation is an aviation services company that operates more than 105 FBO facilities across the United States. Atlantic provides a wide range of aircraft ground handling and corporate flight support services, including fueling and line services, ground transportation, catering, hangar, deicing, and ramp space.
“We’re very proud to partner with Aspen Flight Academy to help grow the next generation of aviators,” noted Atlantic Aviation Aspen FBO Manager, Jonathan Jones.
Mayo Aviation also is investing in the next generation of pilots and helping them discover career opportunities in the industry. Mayo Aviation, headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, is a national aircraft management, maintenance, and charter service provider. To help students realize their passion for flying, the aircraft management and charter service provider announced the establishment of the Gwendolyn O. Mayo Memorial Scholarship at Saturday’s event.
The $20,000 university scholarship will be awarded to an Aspen Flight Academy student, on a need-basis, to support their pursuit of professional aviation. The scholarship recipient, who will receive four $5,000 annual disbursements, will also be paired with a mentor who will help guide the student through future career opportunities and the business aviation landscape.
The Gwendolyn O. Mayo scholar will have the opportunity to participate in the Mayo Aviation Pilot Development Program, gaining valuable turbine time, enhancing their career path, in addition to continuing in the AFA training environment as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI).
“Aviation has held a significant place in the Mayo family forever,” said Mayo Aviation CEO Bill Mayo. “It is inspiring to help others reach their dreams, and to give back to the community which has given us so much. Gwen Mayo was a champion of the importance of aviation her entire life.” Mayo Aviation is the first Part 135 operator to offer a scholarship to Aspen Flight Academy.
“We are also very grateful to our other corporate sponsors: See the list below,” noted Pearce.
Atlantic Aviation Alpine Bank ANB Bank Avialex Law Group, LLP Berlinger Bose Bubba Air Diamond Aircraft EKS Events Holton Capital Group Storm Help Pro Mayo Aviation Michelin MT Propeller NetJets The Duck Company